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Best for society? Transnational opposition to sexual and gender equalities in Canada and Great Britain

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While much has been written about the limitations of new legislative equalities, there is a silence in geographies of sexualities regarding the backlash to these changes and the reiteration of particular heteronormativity. In working across Great Britain and Canada, we argue that these resistances are trans-scalar, operating transnationally as well as evoking nation, classroom, home and body. Arguments at the local level are embedded in and draw on the broader ‘natural family’ arguments circulating at local/regional, national and transnational levels. Drawing on the literature on transnationalism that understands these processes as (re)forming values and practices, this article explores the discourses that reiterate the naturalness and centrality of particular forms of heterosexuality as key for a healthy society and the protection of children. The latter works on three levels. First, the child cannot be ‘naturally’ produced outside of heterosexual sexual relations. Second, the raising of these children appropriately and healthily redefines ‘family’ within heteronormative structures. Third, comments that might be termed ‘homophobic’ are reframed as merely free speech as a way to counter LGBT recognition. We finish the article by arguing for explorations of heterosexuality within transnational networks to resistances to LGBT equalities.
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Keywords: Christian right; Derecha Cristiana; heteronormatividad; heteronormativity; heterosexualidad; heterosexuality; homonormatividad; homonormativity; queer; transnacionalismo; transnationalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada 2: School of Environment & Technology, University of Brighton, Moulsecoomb campus, Lewes road, Brighton, BN2 4GJ, UK

Publication date: April 21, 2015

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